Vermeil uses one of the oldest processes for adding a layer of gold to jewelry or silver objects: electroplating. It seems that the first jewelry and objects made with this precious metal date back to the Incas: gold and silver symbolized the solar and lunar aspects. Even Homer refers to vermeil, in Antiquity, in his work The Odyssey . And did you know that the crowns of the Kings of France were made of vermeil?
In the French folklore tradition of celebrating the years of marriage, it is customary to celebrate the vermeil wedding on the 45th anniversary.
The characteristics of vermilion
Vermeil is composed of a solid silver base on which a layer of 18-carat gold is applied, using the so-called electroplating treatment. Yellow gold is the most used, but there are also creations in rose gold or white gold.
Vermeil is considered a truly precious metal in its own right. This is based in particular on the fact that the layer of gold applied to the silver is much thicker than simple fine gold gilding.
In France, for a piece of jewelry to be considered vermeil, the gold must be at least 10 carats, which corresponds to approximately 42% gold.
Vermeil therefore has wonderful qualities: it is affordable while having an appearance very close to gold, it does not tarnish over time so is wearable on a daily basis, and finally it is hypoallergenic.
What hallmark for the vermeil?
All vermeil jewelry must bear the silver hallmark, that is to say the head of Minerva in France. But if the weight of the jewel is more than 30 g, then a second hallmark with the letter “V” in a diamond must be affixed. Thus, this guarantees the authenticity of the vermeil jewelry.
Finally, the manufacturer's or importer's mark, also in the shape of a diamond, must appear.
Vermeil and wear
The durability of vermeil jewelry will depend on its thickness of gold. The thicker the gold layer, the longer it will take for wear to appear. Additionally, it should be noted that the higher the carat number of the gold used, the easier it will be to scrape the gold off the jewelry. 18 carat gold appears to be the best solution between quality and resistance. So, you should know that vermeil is quite resistant to the wear and tear of time, everyday shocks and scratches.
How to maintain your vermeil jewelry?
On a daily basis, even if vermeil is resistant to wear and tear over time, it is possible to see small stains appear on the surface of your jewelry after a certain time. To do this, simply clean your jewelry gently with a sponge or soft toothbrush dipped in soapy water. It must then be dried well with a dry cloth to remove all traces of humidity.
After a few years, the patina can wear away and therefore reveal the silver. Manal Paris offers its services to restore your jewelry to restore their shine.
Little tip: When you are not wearing your vermeil jewelry, store them in a small pouch to protect them and prevent possible shocks and scratches.
Gold plated or Vermeil?
Gold plating is most often made on a brass base - but it is also possible to use copper or any other non-precious metal. The brass is then immersed in a gold bath, to prevent the brass from oxidizing too much over time.
While vermeil requires a minimum plating of 5 microns, for gold plated it is a minimum of 3 microns. Beyond that, the jewelry will wear out very quickly and will not keep its shine for more than a few months.
Finally, brass or copper are a source of irritation for the skin. So some people cannot wear gold plated. While vermilion is hypoallergenic, that is to say that it does not carry any allergies in theory.
Discover vermeil at Manal Paris
Our House offers you two vermeil collections.
The Daera collection:
The Daera collection has pure, light and elegant lines. Its character appears in its timelessness and delicacy. Daera will know how to accompany stronger pieces. Discover, among our Daera collection, our Daera Ring starting at €110 or our Daera Bangle Bracelet at €160.
The Nesf Daera collection:
Our second vermeil collection is called Nesf Daera and means semi-circle . It is an ode to the city of Rabat where Manal comes from. The Art Deco style with which the city is imbued is also found in this collection through geometric shapes. Manal here wanted to celebrate the strong and full of life woman. We invite you to discover among others in this collection, our Nesf Daera Necklace from €240 or our Nesf Daera Earrings at €395.
Do you want to come and discover our collections?
So don't hesitate any longer and make an appointment with Manal, the designer, to discover our collection and find out more.